Friday, August 31, 2007


Have you been to the DMV offices, lately? I had to go today to take the written test for my CDL. Given my default mindset, I had been fretting it a bit, but it turned out to be for naught. I passed all three tests on the first try, which was very good. I'd been having mental picture shows of sitting in that damned office for hour upon hour, filling in circle after circle with my trusty PaperMate mechanical Number Two pencil. No.

I passed by the skin of teeth. That's all right. I really didn't need skin on my teeth in the first place.

The DMV is quite the sociological study. Everyone needs to drive thus an interesting cross-section of humanity emerges. You have the well-coiffed rich girl, with the shiney three-inch black heels and the immaculate makeup and the Texas-sized rock on her left ring finger and you have the shifty-eyed dude who looks about as comfortable immersed in that mass of jabbering and cell-phone talking and politely-burping humanity as a goose in a hockey rink.

Then there was the guy that I have seen in a few AA meetings. I'd like to say that we made eye-contact and shared a super-secret "I know you, you know me" head nod, In all seriousness, it seemed to me that he was avoiding making eye contact with me. Which is just as well. Actually, I couldn't care less. What would we have chatted about? "So, uh, you're a friend of Bill W.'s? How's it going?" And then he would say, "Uh, good. Good. I'm still off the sauce. You?" Then I would say, "Oh. Sure. Um. Yup. I'm feeling pretty good." Then we would look at each other and nod vaguely and find the line of people amazingly interesting. And our shoes would probably be fascinating new discoveries, as well. Watches would be looked at and pocket change would be jiggled. "Okay! Good luck, man!"

"You too."

Anyway. Like I was saying, I passed by the nonexistent skin of my teeth. I brought the three tests up to the Southern-drawling older lady named--I'm serious--Bessy, and she checked the answers and then allowed me to look over what I had missed. The first test, 50 questions, was a general knowledge test and, looking over what I had missed, I would have seriously kicked myself if I had not passed. You can miss 10 questions and still pass; I missed 10 questions. And about seven of them were questions to which I knew the answers. I must have been in a rush. I must have filled in the wrong bubble. In my defense, though, taking a test in the DMV is basically as soothing as taking a test in a DMZ. Cell phones, people talking and laughing, rustling of newspapers and magazines, staffers calling out numbers...these are all very unconducive to rapt attention on what, essentially, is a test that is about as exciting as watching paint dry. And the foreign lady behind me who insisted on reading all the questions aloud to herself? Oy vey. I'm sure that it helped her grasp the slippery English language better, but--damn!

Hey kidz! Would you like to have fun?! Would you like to play along at home?! Go to this website and you too can take practice CDL tests! Trust me. It's as fun as watching a barrel of monkeys...well...monkey around.

And now a bit of negative news: I went to the doctor last week to get blood tests--just for the hell of it--and I got the results in the mail today. All was good except for my cholesterol level was elevated and they want me to set up an appointment to discuss the results. Here is what that discussion will sound like: "Adam. You need to eat better and exercise more. And, also, smoking hardens your arteries, you know, thus making the disease of atherosclerosis more attainable. It gives it a foothold, as it were." And then this is where I will say, "Okay, Doctor Hasbany. I will get right on that." Seriously, though, this is not anything with which to fuck around. I know that.

Then why, oh why, did I just get back from Lombard's wherein an extra-large pizza pie was purchased? I'll start my new and improved exercise regiment...tomorrow. Scout's honor.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I'm writing this with earplugs in my, well, ears. The sound of my fingers hitting the keys seems to be more distinct than when I am typing sans earplugs. To me, this seems kind of like a contradictory phenomenon. Shouldn't it be tougher to hear the key strokes? Is it because the rest of the aural world is, for intents and purposes, washed away, leaving me in the here and now? Or is it because typing is, with a deadened sense, all the brain has to focus on, so it rachets up the level of thinking grease? If a tree fell in a forest, would I hear it?

It's pretty cool, though. It's more of a physical exercise than a mental exercise, when you're typing with your ears plugged. All that I can hear is the distant and muffled clop-cloak-clop-cloak sound of keys being depressed and the wheezy sound of my breath. The TV is a distant blur and my focus is right here, right now, on this monitor. I'm not exactly writing anything, but the pleasure of this post--for me, obviously--is the feeling my fingertips get when I'm typing. In fact, I could keep doing this all night, just typing for the pure vibratory pleasure in my fingertips/nailbeds.

Hello? Hello?! Why did everyone leave?!

Saturday, August 25, 2007


The horror of the blank white sheet of paper. Appease the beast. Write whatever comes into your mind, kemo sabe....

I was looking at my home page a few minutes ago and I saw a story about a hot air balloon in British Columbia that caught fire whilst on the ground and then, breaking loose from its tether, floated up into the air and burst into flames before shooting off like a sputtering balloon and exploding into an RV park. Two people were unable to jump from the craft and subsequently died from burns. Eeeesh. Good God, I thought that hot air balloon rides were supposed to be nice and relaxing, a meandering float above picturesque villages, a ride that renders towns below quaint postcards. You don't expect to be involved in Hindenburg '07 when you clamber aboard a balloon. Thoughts and prayers.

And now, without an appropriate segue (but how can I segue from that?), I am fiending for NFL football. I drafted a team for one of my Fanatsy leagues yesterday. We drafted at a bowling alley right down the road from work headquarters. Many people enjoyed alcoholic beverages; I, nearing my ninth month of sobriety, enjoyed a few Nordics, Labatt's non-alcoholic brew. (If I may be so bold, if you are ever going to drink a non-alkie beer, this is the one to drink. Stay faaaaaaaaaar away from O'Doul's. Stuff tastes like tonic water mixed with wheat germ...not a good taste.)

Anyway, for all two of you NFL geeks out there who read my drivel, what follows is the result of my sober draft. Team Monkey is as follows: At quarterback, I have Donovan McNabb with Matt Hasselbeck as his backup. At running backs I have Joseph Addai and Rudi Johnson with Cedric Benson and Marion Barber III as their backups. I drafted a shitload of wideouts, for some reason. In this league, we start three every week, but I still, for some unknown reason, drafted four backups. Anyway, here are my starters: "Terrible" Terrell Owens, Larry Fitzgerald and Darrell Jackson. I'll be shifting the receivers each week, according to the matchups, but here are my backups: Braylon Edwards, Greg Jennings, Matt Jones and the still-speedy and earnest octogenerian Isaac Bruce. At tight end, I selected Chris Cooley from the Redskins. My defense is the Carolina Panthers and my place kicker is Josh Brown from Seattle.

I like my chances. It's basically a work league--all eight of us in the league work at Consumers Energy. There were some foolish selections, such as Drew Brees going 14th overall and Frank Gore being selected before Joseph Addai. But...that shit happens, right? Right?!
I stayed true to the two-stud running back strategy and I am very happy to have gotten--for all intents and purposes--three starting running backs who are not subject to the platoon system on their respective teams.

Okay...wipe the Fanatsy Football Geek Juice (F.F.G.J.) off of the screen.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I wonder about my brain-power, sometimes. I wonder if, perhaps, too many hops and too many barleys conspired to drain my Einstein of elasticity.

Case in point: I had this picture of Lou up in Adobe Photoshop. There was a glare coming from the Saturday morning-light zapping in from the window, obscuring the image on the monitor. I, for about five minutes, did what I was doing with the picture, all the while craning my neck to counteract the glare. It was a pain in the ass, not to mention an increasing pain in the neck. I just can't see it! I was thinking to myself. Eventually, I angled the monitor two inches to the right.

No glare. If I stay true to this kind of cutting-edge thinking, I just might yet gain tenure at Harvard.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


So, yeah. I drew the picture that you see, here, when I was in the back seat of my Ford Focus. My brother-in-law Matt was driving (he drove 23 hours and 1300 miles...he is now, officially, Stud), and my sis Meliss was in the passenger seat. I read and smoked and, one time (not at band camp) I jammed my stinky flip-flops in the area between the passenger door and the passenger seat, thus guaranteeing that my dear sister would be privy to the full effect of my odorifious zapatos. I have written about this already, but I figured I would lend some background information to this picture.

Anyway, I have long loved to doodle and, often, I draw a gratuitously grotesque characiture of myself, including but not limited to: a wide expanse of forehead, pinched facial features, a glowering brow and a miniature bowler hat, a type of hat that I have never in my life worn. I don't know why I draw that picture incessantly, but I do. It had become an almost thoughtless exercise in line-drawing.

But the fact remains that I often draw myself as an ape, or, at least, a human being with an apish apeture.

Do you know how excruciating middle and high schools were? Do know what it's like to score in the top 99th percentile in rope-climbing...and be ashamed of your achievement because it just felt way too easy? To have bananas spill from your locker during class breaks? Have you ever had the girl upon whom you'd focussed your attention pierce your tender freshman heart with one well-timed "Ooga-ooga?" Have you ever cried yourself to sleep in the highest branches of the schoolyard oak tree? Yeah.

Me either. But I did get called (mockingly, of course) "Grape Ape" in eighth grade. And I did have my childhood friend burp out the word "Aaaaaaaaapppppe." And I did have a fondness for anything banana. (Except for hammocks; never hammocks.)

What is it, exactly, that reminds people of primates when I'm around? Maybe nothing, but, if pressed, I would submit that my brow is somewhat low-slung and my mouth is babyish, thus lending itself a cute Curious George-type swell. I am the Missing Link! See me beat my chest! Listen to me weep.

So. Anyway, back to the picture: I drew it without knowing what the finished product would look like. Apparently, it looks like me. Apparently, the "West Side Simian" me. Two--two!--people on Flickr have said so!

My life, as I have known it, is over. Over, I say! It's nothing but downhill from here. One day, in the not-so-distant future, you may read an odd story of a man in Brazil...a man who met his unfortunate and premature demise after scaling--remarkably quickly--the Christ the Redeemer statue and flinging himself off of the Saviour's nose, wildly flapping his poorly-constructed Wings o' Banana, screaming to the whipping wind: "Ooga-ooga?! Take this, Susan!"


Tuesday, August 14, 2007


The cicadas are here! The cicadas are here! Everybody! Run for your lives!


With the road trip to visit my sister of the North (Alexis in Minnesota) in the rear view mirror, it's time to hunker down and get back into the Work swing of things. God. That sucks. Those four days just flew by. I had a good time, though, and it was great seeing my sisters and doing my "Little Brother" thang, such as surreptitiously jamming my offensive flip flops in the space next to the passenger seat and the passenger door, inches from my unsuspecting sister's head. If you want to, you can read about it here. Hey, I gotta do what I gotta do. Someone once told me not to hide my light under a bushel basket. I took that to heart; I still do.

My "light" is pukish-green and it manisfests itself in the form of lovingly shared bodily odors. It's odor-rific, is what it is! Yeah, seventh grade humor is still fresh in my mind. Hey. It could be worse. I could find smashing watermelons to be the height of comedy.

Here is another funny thing to do: Whilst belted securely in the car, and with the camera cord secured tightly around your wrist, lean out the window [the automobile should be traveling at least 65 miles per hour, but 80 is better] and open your mouth and take a picture of your face. I'll guarantee one thing: If you have been on the road for eleven and a half hours, tired and slappy, the digital capture will leave you hitching in the chest and gasping for breath, you'll be laughing so hard. Then again, when you look at said picture a couple of days later, with your mind loaded down with thoughts of work and murky maturity, it won't seem quite as funny and, in fact, the picture will make you think to yourself, "Well, hell, this is what I'd look like if I had the misfortune to become a waterlogged corpse! I'll be damned!"

It's hideous. It disgusts me, but it's funny.

Anyway. That's it. I had a great time seeing my sisters and my brothers-in-law. Also, I learned that if one wants to get a kick-ass burrito whilst in Duluth, Minnesota, one can't do any better than a burrito from Burrito Union. Damn fine grub. They come in one-fisted and two-fisted sizes. I went with the two-fisted pork burrito. I think it was called The Capitalist. There is a definite Marxist theme to the restaurant, don't ask me why.

I said don't ask.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


"Hammerin' Hank" doesn't top the list, anymore.

Barry Bonds passed him tonight; by hitting his 756th career home run, Bonds is now the "Long-Ball" king. Things just don't seem right about that.

Hank Aaron epitomized class while in the major leagues. He was grace under pressure. While he was banging away at the baseballs, ever-inching towards the record that Babe Ruth had held for nearly fifty years, racial slurs were hurled his way and threats were made on his life--and more--because he was a black man in the 1970s, looking to break the great Bambino's hallowed record.

Barry Bonds cheated. He 'roided-up. (Allegedly.) That is not to say that hitting seven hundred and fifty fucking six home runs is an easy task, because it is assuredly not. That is not to say that Barry Bonds did not work his ass off in the weight room and better himself through nutritional sciences, but it is to say that the record has a wholly hollow feel to it.

I actually felt no excitement seeing the record-breaking shot. And I'll bet that a lot of other people felt the same way as I. And I've been a baseball fan my entire life. When I was younger, I would stare at books on baseball history and read up on people like Honus Wagner and Pie Traynor and Cy Young and Christy Mathewson and Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth--and I'd memorize their statistics and I'd get all gooey-eyed.

That ship has sailed.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


So, I was listening to talk-radio today at work and they were talking about the I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis in which there are four or five confirmed deaths and many tens more (most likely) confined to their watery deaths in the Mississippi River. It is assuredly a tragic situation all the way around.

The host of the show (Stephanie Miller, a manic woman but an acquired taste, in my estimation) cut away from the talking to go to a live Presidential press conference, one in which Bushie would probably read from his teleprompter the speech that someone else had written for his simianac self, one in which he would most likely call on God to show the victims' families mercy and strength in this tough time.

He must have been going off-the-cuff; I think he made his own speech, this time.

Half a minute after expressing his sympathies for the people who had been killed or come up missing in the collapse--half a minute!--the Curious One was off and running, laying ostensible blame at the feet of the Democaratic Congress for not getting Transportation bills signed and passed and so on. Hold on a second, Your Highness.

Aren't you the same jackass that has vetoed scores of bills and, basically, opposed Congress at pretty much every turn? Aren't you the (corrupt) moron who has invoked "Executive Privilege" with about five people who have been called to testify--by Congress, no less--in the firings of the eight U.S. attorneys?

Corruption and dishonor and disingenuousness drip from this Administration.
Would someone please begin the process of impeachment of both him and Cheney? In fact, throw out the whole lot. They're all covering each other's asses and in bed with Big Business. They care not a whit for the average American.

The $12,000 a second Iraq War price tag could be put to better use. How? Oh, I don't know. There are many ways, but here's one: I may be going out a limb, here, but how about putting the money that is being used to destroy any good grace we might have had in the Middle East and putting money that is birthing more Islamic hate and fanaticism to use here in...America? We could use it to--oh, I don't know--repair the crumbling infrastructure.

Many many bridges in the United States are either "structurally deficient" or now obsolete due to increased traffic and larger heavier vehicles.

I just couldn't believe what I was hearing when our "Leader" bounced, in the same breath, from mourning the tragedy of the bridge collapse right to pimping himself and his policies and denigrating the Democrats. It disgusted me. No one can be that moronically callous.

Can they?
*Edit. Here is a link to the press conference: Hypocrite speaks. Um. "Fiscally-responsible" spending?! Are you fucking kidding me?! Take a look in the mirror, jerk-off.